Best Nikon 50mm Lenses – Complete Round-up [2019]

Are you looking for the perfect "nifty fifty" lens for your Nikon DSLR camera? 

A 50mm lens is generally the first choice of many photographers. This is because these are capable of producing the sharpest and most dramatic shots. 

In this article, we have gathered the top-listed lenses out there. Read on to find out the details of each so you can find the one that perfectly meets your demands. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Nikon 50mm Lenses

Product

Rating

Price

Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art DG

Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art DG HSM Lens for Nikon

Best Overall

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

Runner-up

Nikon AI-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2

Nikon AI-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Fixed Zoom Manual Focus Lens for Nikon DSLR Cameras

Best for the Money

Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S

Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S

Best Nikon 50mm Prime Lens

Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 50mm F/1.4D

Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 50mm F/1.4D DSLR Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

Best Nikon 50mm 1.4 Lens

​Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

YONGNUO YN50mm F1.8N

YONGNUO YN50mm F1.8N Standard Prime Lens Large Aperture Auto Manual Focus AF MF for Nikon DSLR Cameras

​Zeiss Milvus 50mm f/1.4

Zeiss Milvus 50mm f/1.4 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F

What is a 50mm Lens Used For?

A 50mm lens is usually referred to as the "nifty fifty" prime lens. Although it is generally not budget-friendly, still it is undoubtedly the first priority of many beginners and photographers. Such lenses have fast apertures and a fixed field of view. Therefore, they are used by photographers for many purposes, including:

Low-Light Shooting

In case you aim to enhance your photographic capabilities, a 50mm lens can be very useful with its large aperture. This lets you shoot at night or even in low-light conditions like a pro. 

Macro Photography

Not generally advertised, this prime lens can also be used as a macro for your camera body. Just remove the lens, and after reversing it, hold it close to the camera body. The fixed view field makes it quite appropriate for a wide range of objects.

Sharp Image

A 50 mm lens is quite sharp and thus, gets you the perfect shots, which is quite impressive for a small lens. It can be used by professional photographers for capturing events, weddings, and even portraits.

Dramatic Bokeh

Prime lenses are used for creating dramatic bokeh to improve your picture quality. You can nicely blur the backgrounds to get creative effects.

How to Choose a Quality 50mm Lens

When it comes to a 50mm lens for your Nikon DSLR camera, there are a number of options available in the market. This makes it difficult to choose the right one. Well, we are here to help. 

In this section, we have summarized a few major features that make for a great Nikon 50mm lens. This will not only ease your decision-making, but you will end up having the best model for you, as well.

Compatible

The most important thing you should look for while purchasing a 50mm camera is that it must be compatible with your Nikon DSLR body. Only a compatible lens will bring the best results for you.

Easy to Use

Although a prime lens comes with a fixed field of view, you should still choose a product that can be easily handled. 

Wide-Angle Lens

Depending on your requirements, you should decide the focal length. These lenses often have a long focal length that lets you frame your subjects efficiently.

Budget-Friendly

No doubt, a prime lens comes with a high price tag. Therefore, you must choose one that easily fits into your budget and can bring value to your bucks.

Warranty

Manufacturers often offer a certain warranty on their products. It is generally recommended to select a lens that comes with a reasonable warranty to mark reliability.

Quick Take - Best Nikon 50mm Lenses

Before we dive into our review, here are the best Nikon 50mm lenses:

  1. Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art DG
  2. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G
  3. Nikon AI-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2

Review of the Best Nikon 50mm Lenses

This was all about the major features for an efficient 50mm lens. Now let's move to our next section that reviews our favorite products available on the market. This can really help you in buying the perfect one that is suitable for your needs.

Best Overall:
 Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art GS

Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art DG HSM Lens for Nikon

PROS

  • Equipped with super multi-layer coating
  • Features a nice design to go with your DSLR
  • Works with 75 mm filters to provide exotic images
  • Capable of focusing at a close distance of 1.31 inches
  • Since it is an auto-focusing lens, it does not require human intervention

CONS

  • Relatively bigger and heavier than others
  • Does not allow detaching tripod mount ring
  • Might have a little distortion around the corners

What Recent Buyers Report

This product is quite popular among its users for featuring a number of qualities. This has made it the top-listed product on our list. One of the most-loved things about it is the auto-focusing. It saves the user from the hassle of adjusting settings every time before capturing any shot.

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you are looking for a great 50mm lens to suit your Nikon DSLR camera, then you must get your hands on the Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art GS. It is equipped with a great set of features, including fast shutter speed and a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture that allows you to take some high-quality images like a pro.

Who Will Use This Most

It is an ideal choice for anyone who wants a nicely-designed lens to suit their camera. It has a wide aperture and thus, can be used for wildlife, as well as landscape photography. Moreover, it is relatively less expensive and thus, can be purchased by a beginner just starting out with photography.

Bottom Line

An extraordinary product with many features, the Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art GS, should not be missed. It can be used by any beginner, as well as professional to cover events and wedding functions. It offers the sharpest images with accurate details, as well as full compatibility with Nikon DSLR cameras.

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • Compact in size, making it highly portable
  • Compatible with all Nikon DSLR cameras
  • Super-fast in operation to provide excellent images
  • Silent auto-focus that requires little to no human intervention
  • Comes with amazing features that provide spectacular image quality

CONS

  • Slightly heavier than other models
  • Lacks physical aperture control ring
  • Not suitable for those on a tight budget

What Recent Buyers Report

Similar to our best product, this model has also received many positive reviews from its users. The much-admired thing about it is its small size that can be carried around easily. Moreover, it shows compatibility with almost all DSLR cameras with or without the in-built AF motor, adding on to perfection.

Why it Stands Out to Us

A great product in Nikon's lineup, the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G lens has a great set of top-notch features. It is equipped with a maximum aperture of f/1.4, and a set of nine rounded blades make the lens diaphragm. Moreover, its construction ensures that there won't be any rotation of the barrel during auto-focusing. To add on, it is driven by Silent Wave Motor technology.

Who Will Use This Most

This model is the right pick for anyone who wants a compact lens to perfectly suit their Nikon camera. It can be used for event coverage and landscape photography. Moreover, since it is an auto-focus lens, it makes a nice choice for saving users from the frequent setting adjustments to click a perfect photo.

Bottom Line

In case you want to keep your camera as compact as possible for easy carrying, then you must choose the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G lens. It is very smooth and silent in operation and lets you click the picture effortlessly. Moreover, the super integrated coating adds on to its reliability.

Nikon AI-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Fixed Zoom Manual Focus Lens for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • Premium-quality design that is built to last
  • Super-fast operation to take high-quality images
  • Aperture control ring lets you make changes manually
  • Provides value for your money with its excellent functioning
  • Equipped with a 9-blade diaphragm to create an exotic bokeh effect

CONS

  • Design can be improved
  • Rugged metal construction
  • Slightly heavier than other models

What Recent Buyers Report

This product has gained immense popularity among users for its reasonable price. This does not mean you have to compromise on the features. With this lens, you get to have all the exceptional features that make a great 50mm lens compatible with your Nikon DSLR, at an affordable price.

Why it Stands Out to Us

A manual focusing lens, the Nikon AI-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 is mostly recommended for its high optical quality. It is equipped with a wide aperture f/1.2 and metal construction. Its robust design has a super-integrated coating that makes it reliable. Moreover, it is backed by a one-year warranty.

Who Will Use This Most

It is surely the best option for anyone who does not want to spend a lot of cash on a 50mm lens. Since it's available at an affordable price tag, it can be purchased by beginners to enhance their photographic capabilities. Talking about the features, it is quite useful for architecture photos and event coverage.

Bottom Line

Not everyone can afford to spend tons of cash on a lens. This model is, therefore, a great choice for such people on a tight budget. It comes with all the desired features required for taking vibrant and excellent images like a pro.

Best Nikon 50mm Prime Lens: 
Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8S

Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S

PROS

  • Extremely quiet in its operation
  • Excellent images, even in low-light conditions
  • No need to worry about any visible distortion
  • Capable of providing sharp images in no time
  • Allows you take creative photos with beautiful bokeh

CONS

  • Heavier model than others
  • The control ring is quite sensitive
  • Not recommended for individuals on a limited budget

What Recent Buyers Report

Like all of the above-mentioned products in the list, the Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8S has gained many positive reviews from customers. The most admired thing about it is its ability to capture vibrant images, even in low-light conditions. Moreover, it lets you create a beautiful bokeh effect, as well.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Equipped with a lot of spectacular features, the Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8S is capable of capturing incredibly sharp images. Moreover, it offers speedy focus, and there is also an advantage of protection from dust and splashes. Additionally, it is equipped with an ultra-quiet technology that lets you focus without being disturbed by the noise.

Who Will Use This Most

This model is an ideal choice for anyone who wants a high-quality lens. It is useful for capturing excellent images, even in low-light situations, making it perfect for night events. Moreover, since the design is protected against dust and splashes, it can be taken on road trips and adventures.

Bottom Line

A sharp, bright, and robust lens with a number of amazing features, the Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8S is a must-have product. Its super-fast and silent focusing lets you capture exotic shots like a pro. In short, this is the right product to bring value to your money.

Best Nikon 50mm 1.4 Lens: 
Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4D

Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 50mm F/1.4D DSLR Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • Comes at an affordable price
  • No visible distortion in the images
  • High-quality materials are used for construction
  • Maximum aperture lets you capture high-quality images
  • Compact and lightweight, therefore, can be carried anywhere

CONS

  • Lacks image stabilization
  • Does not focus on entry-level cameras
  • Does not work well with cameras lacking in-built AF motor

What Recent Buyers Report

This product is very popular among users for various reasons. It is liked for its robust design that is also lightweight, which increases its portability. Moreover, it is one of the cheapest prime lenses available in the market nowadays. Although there are some concerns over its inability to stabilize the image, it is a great lens for your DSLR camera, which lets you take only the best shots.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4D has made its way to our list for its compact design and high-end features. It is highly suitable for cameras with built-in AF motors to provide sharp images in no time. Moreover, it has seven aperture blades responsible for making the lens diaphragm.

Who Will Use This Most

It is definitely an ideal choice for anyone who wants a compact lens to carry around on road trips or other adventures. Moreover, its reasonable price makes it suitable for people who do not want to spend a lot of cash on a prime lens. It can be used by beginners, as well as professionals to take some worthy shots.

Bottom Line

With a nice, powerful design, the Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4D prime lens is specifically designed for you if you love to take some spectacular shots. It is lightweight and capable of giving you years of joy. Overall, it is one of the best products for some exceptional photography.

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • Has the maximum reproduction ratio of 0.15x
  • Amazing minimum focus distance at 1.48 feet
  • 47-degree picture angle for 35-millimeter format
  • Edge to edge sharpness optimized for both FX and DX
  • Aspherical lens element with the latest optical system techniques

CONS

  • The lens is not zoomable
  • Active configuration needed for desired bokeh

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers found this lens very helpful as it improved the quality of photographs for them. They also liked it for its compact body, which is easy to carry and store. They are happy with its focus range and focal length, too, which focuses well. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

IWe find it exceptional due to its edge sharpness optimization, which keeps images intact. We also like it for its brilliance as well since it improves the overall quality of an image. Its depth of field seems very natural, and it is hard to point out any flaws in it.

Who Will Use This Most 

Professional photographers will find it the most useful as it has a wide aperture. It allows them to play around with the brightness and contrast of images more easily. They will also find it very useful as a prime lens due to the FX-format.

Bottom Line

The bottom line on this one is that it is one of the best 50 mm lenses in the market. It is rich in features while staying low on price, making it ideal for those on a budget. So, get this one for your next photography kit upgrade whenever you can.

YONGNUO YN50mm F1.8N Standard Prime Lens Large Aperture Auto Manual Focus AF MF for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • Excellent controls with both manual and autofocus
  • Metal blades and contacts are fully corrosion-resistant
  • Supports multiple shooting modes including M/AV/TV/P
  • Better signal conductivity with gold-plated metal contacts
  • Wide aperture distinguishes the subject and the background

CONS

  • Does not have any weather seal
  • No focus override when in autofocus mode already

What Recent Buyers Report

This 50 mm lens has won over its recent buyers because of its manual focus. They loved how they could control the focus manually and work with autofocus as well. This increased the range of usage for buyers, and they loved the lens for it. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

We like it for its support of full-frame and APS-C formats of cameras. This makes the lens more useful for a diverse range of photographers, making it even more popular. We recommend it for its metal blades and contacts too. They are not only strong and sharp but also corrosion-resistant. 

Who Will Use This Most 

This 50 mm Nikon lens is perfect for the people who like to transition between modes. As it can work in M/AV/TV/P shooting modes, it broadens the horizons for photographers. It's also good for those who need sharp focus as it does well in that department. 

Bottom Line

As an ending remark, this is one of the best 50 mm lenses as it offers both auto and manual focus. The features clearly outweigh the price, which removes all hesitations of buyers. So, make sure that you get it if you like to experiment with different camera angles.

Zeiss Milvus 50mm f/1.4 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F

PROS

  • Weather sealing with a rubber focus ring
  • Anti-reflective coating for a clearer image
  • Anodized metal barrel does not rust easily
  • De-clicking of manual aperture ring is possible
  • 1 aspherical element in the lens for better angling

CONS

  • Has no specific built-in camera mount

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have come up with positive reviews mostly as they enjoyed using it. They liked it for the broad range of aperture width. It helped them control the amount of light entering the lens more actively. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Its anti-reflective coating distinguishes it from other 50 mm Nikon lenses in the market. It makes the lens face less obstruction of light resulting in clearer pictures. It is also a favorite of ours because of the de-clicking of its manual aperture ring.

Who Will Use This Most 

This lens is the most useful for photographers who work in outdoor settings. As it is weather-resistant, it allows them to keep on clicking photos in diverse conditions. Hence, this is the best camera lens for adventure lovers who love quality photography too. 

Bottom Line

Overall, this is an amazing 50 mm Nikon lens, which is going to change the way you have been photographing your subjects. It has better configuration and controls, which make the photographers love it. 

Advantages of Investing in a Quality Lens

Being an excellent solution for providing natural-looking pictures, a prime lens is definitely the go-to lens for many photographers. It is generally not affordable, however, there are several advantages associated with investing in a quality lens. Some of them are briefly discussed here.

Small and Lightweight

A 50mm lens is even smaller than the kit lens that comes with your DSLR camera. This makes it easy to use for situations like street photography. You can easily move through the crowd and get pictures effortlessly.

Moreover, many 50mm lenses are also lightweight. Therefore, they are not only compact but easy to carry around, as well.

They're Sharp

One of the best features of prime lenses is that they contain fewer internal elements, so you can take pictures that are relatively clearer and sharper.

Versatile

Whether you opt for landscape photography or set out to take some architecture photos, a prime lens is there to serve you. With this versatile piece of glass, you just point and shoot to capture the subject in no time.

Great Focal Length

A quality prime lens comes with an effective focal length that lets you fill the frame with your object, even from a great distance.

Enhance Creativity

With an impressive 50mm lens, you get to learn a lot about photography. Since it has a fixed focal length, you need to think purposefully and adjust the composition of your shot.

How to Clean a 50mm Lens?

Cleaning your 50 mm lens can be a little tricky if you are not an expert. However, don't worry as here’s a complete guideline on how to clean it. 

Things You Need:

  • Actual lens cap
  • Small screwdriver
  • Straight and angled piques
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Alcohol
  • Flashlight
  • Paint marker
  • Double-sided tape.

How to Clean It:

  1. Cut the double-sided tape and put it along the length of the cap.
  2. Then push it down and twist to unscrew the front retainer ring of the lens.
  3. Now you will see 3 screws on the filter ring. Unscrew them with a small screwdriver. 
  4. Then remove the 3 screws from the front element group too.
  5. Using the paint marker, draw a line on the aperture insert shoulder.
  6. Then unscrew the Phillips screws from the aperture insert and lift it out.
  7. Soak the microfiber cloth in alcohol and rub it on the lens blade to clean oil and dust.
  8. Once all parts are thoroughly clean, assemble them after drying.     

Conclusion

To put in a nutshell, a great Nikon 50mm lens, coupled with your DSLR body will surely bring excellence to your shots. Therefore, you should select a really sharp lens that perfectly suits your Nikon DSLR camera. Hopefully, this article has provided enough information about the trending 50mm lenses on the market. In order to make an informed decision, don't forget to go through this buying guide before buying.

People Also Ask

A 50 mm Nikon lens is going to make photography a lot of fun for you. There is still confusion regarding it as people are very specific about photography accessories. So, if you have any further queries, you do not have to worry anymore. Here are answers to some common questions

What is the Difference Between Nikon 50mm D and G Lens?

The most prominent difference between a 50 mm D and G lens is the presence or absence of focus motor. The 50 mm G lens has a focus motor in it, which helps increasing focus in it. However, the 50 mm D lens doesn’t have a motor. 

Is a 50mm Lens Good for Portraits?

Yes, 50 mm lenses are good for portraits, but not if you are taking a close-up shot. A portrait of the subject’s upper half body is the best one when captured with a 50mm lens. To improve the experience, you should go for a 50mm macro lens.

Is 50mm Good for Street Photography?

Yes, a 50 mm lens is good for street photography because it covers a wider angle. The field of view (FOV) is better when you use a 50 mm lens for street photography. It is also good because it helps you practice photography in full-frame reference as well. 

What Does 50mm f/1.4 Lens Mean?

f indicates the width of aperture on the lens, which lets light into the lens. An f/1.4 has a wider aperture and helps transfer more light to the lens. This brightens up the images and helps you blur or sharpen an image. So, a 50 mm lens with f/1.4 will have a better focus and more active control on the sharpness of an image. 

Why Are 50mm Lenses so Cheap?

50 mm lenses are cheap because they have more cost-effective material in their construction. The built is moderately good, not highly efficient. Also, they are smaller in size and have only a mirror that is strictly required. This saves costs on the part of the manufacturers, so the lenses turn out to be cheap.